What are other names for this remedy?
Type of medicine: natural remedy
Scientific and common names: Vitis vinifera, procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs), pycnogenol, activin, grape seed extract, grape seed oil, leucoanthocyanin, muskat, oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs)
What is grape seed?
Grapes are the fruit of a vine. The seeds of grapes are used to make medicine. The seeds of purple grapes appear to have the most concentrated amounts of medicine.
What is it used for?
This remedy has been used to treat several conditions. Studies in humans or animals have not proved that this remedy is safe or effective for all uses. Before using this remedy for a serious condition, you should talk with your healthcare provider.
This remedy is helpful to treat edema (fluid buildup).
Grape seed extract has been used to treat:
- Eyestrain and poor night vision
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Liver problems
- Memory problems
- Vein problems such as varicose veins
This remedy does not appear to help treat or prevent hay fever.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve uses for natural remedies. The FDA does not inspect or regulate natural remedies the way they do prescription medicines.
How is it taken?
You may take grape seed extract by mouth in the form of capsules, tablets, or tinctures. Check the label on the package for the specific dose. Swallow the capsules with a large drink of water. You can take grape seed extract with or without food. Grape seed oil may also be used on the skin.
What if I overdose?
Symptoms of an acute overdose have not been reported.
What should I watch out for?
Grape seed is safe for most adults. Do not take this remedy if you are allergic to grapes.
If you need emergency care, surgery, or dental work, tell the healthcare provider or dentist you are taking this remedy. Grape seed may cause you to bleed more.
Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about any natural remedy that you are using or thinking about using. If your provider does not tell you how to take it, follow the directions that come with the package. Do not take more or take it longer than recommended. Ask about anything you do not understand. Remember:
- Natural remedies are not always safe.
- You should not take them if you are pregnant or breast-feeding without your healthcare provider's approval. They should not be taken by infants, children, or older adults without your provider's approval.
- They affect your body and may interact with prescription medicines that you take.
- Natural remedies are not standardized and may have different strengths and effects. They may be contaminated.
What are the possible side effects?
Along with its desirable effects, this remedy may cause some unwanted side effects. Some side effects may be very serious. Some side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the remedy. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that continue or get worse.
Life-threatening (Report these to your healthcare provider right away. If you cannot reach your healthcare provider right away, get emergency medical care or call 911 for help): Allergic reaction (hives; itching; rash; trouble breathing; tightness in your chest; swelling of your lips, tongue, and throat).
Other: nausea, itching, dizziness, stomach pain, diarrhea, headache, dry mouth, cough.
What products might interact with this remedy?
When you take this remedy with other medicines, it can change the way the remedy or the medicines work. Vitamins and certain foods may also interact. Using these products together might cause harmful side effects. Before taking this remedy, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking:
- Medicine that reduces the chance of blood clots forming such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, and warfarin (Coumadin)
- Natural remedies such as angelica, anise, arnica, asafoetida, capsicum, celery, chamomile, clove, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, Panax ginseng, horse chestnut, horseradish, licorice, onion, papain, passionflower, red clover, turmeric, and willow
If you are not sure if your medicines might interact, ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider. Keep a list of all your medicines with you. List all the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Be sure that you tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all the products you are taking.
Keep all natural remedies and medicines out of the reach of children.
This advisory includes select information only. The information was obtained from scientific journals, study reports, and other documents. The author and publisher make no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the information. The advisory may not include all side effects associated with a remedy or interactions with other medicines. Nothing herein shall constitute a recommendation for the use of any remedy. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.
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